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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

The Volt Is Just A Regular Car

June 30, 2010 7:41 am | Articles | Comments

Consumer Reports got the chance to take a pre-production model of the Chevy Volt out for a test drive, and the results are pretty positive overall. The car handles just like any other, and is pretty quick off the line thanks to its always-available electric torque. Some might be disappointed simply because the Volt drives and feels just like any other, as it could be less incentive for consumers to pick it up on a premium over a gasoline-powered car.

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P & G To Make Fashionable Diapers

June 30, 2010 5:04 am | by Dan Sewell, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Procter & Gamble Co. is aiming to make disposable diapers fashionable. Popular designer Cynthia Rowley has designed 11 styles of Pampers, including pastels, stripes, madras and ruffles. P&G says they'll be offered in Target Corp. stores beginning in mid-July.

Sony Recalls 535,000 Overheating, Warping Laptops

June 30, 2010 4:57 am | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Sony Corp. said Wednesday that it has started providing free software updates to more than half a million users worldwide to fix a glitch that could cause overheating in its popular VAIO laptops. So far, no injuries have been reported, but the Tokyo-based electronics company said it has received a total of 39 problem reports, including 26 in the U.

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Boeing Acquires Combat Firm For $775 Million

June 30, 2010 4:47 am | News | Comments

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Boeing said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire combat engineering firm Argon ST Inc. for about $775 million in cash in a deal to expand its capabilities in intelligence gathering and warfare. Argon ST is a Fairfax, Va., company that develops a variety of systems used in surveillance, reconnaissance and combat.

Ford Repays $4 Billion Of Staggering Debt

June 30, 2010 4:28 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co., the only Detroit automaker to avoid bankruptcy protection, said Wednesday it will reduce its huge debt by another $4 billion as it continues to show signs of financial strength. The Dearborn, Mich., automaker will pay $3.8 billion in cash to a United Auto Workers trust fund that pays retiree health care bills, and it will pay out $255 million in dividends on preferred securities that had been deferred as the automaker worked its way through financial troubles.

Obama Visits Hard-Hit Wis. Manufacturing City

June 30, 2010 4:26 am | by Scott Bauer, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — If President Barack Obama wants to see a community hard hit by the recession, there's not many places better in Wisconsin than where he's coming Wednesday. Obama invited the public to attend a round table discussion on the economy in Racine, a city suffering under 14.

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Immigration Agents Raid Calif. Manufacturing Plant

June 30, 2010 4:25 am | News | Comments

FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) — Federal immigration agents have taken 43 people into custody following a raid at a Fullerton manufacturing plant. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lori Haley says federal agents executed a search warrant Tuesday morning at Terra Universal Inc. Haley says the 43 people taken into custody are suspected of being in the country illegally.

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My Problem With Speculative Currency Traders

June 29, 2010 11:29 am | by Gordon Styles, Engineer & Managing Director, Star Prototype | Articles | Comments

Star Prototype China is owned and run by Gordon Styles, British businessman and engineer. In 1993, Styles began building what became the U.K.’s largest rapid prototyping technology (RPT) company, which he later sold. Styles then founded Star Prototype — a full service RPT bureau that specializes in rapid prototyping, urethanes, CNC machining, rapid tooling and molding — in 2005 with the intention of offering western clients the opportunity to use a reliable and high-quality rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing supplier in China.

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Video Gets Portable

June 29, 2010 7:33 am | Product Releases | Comments

Lenox Instrument Company (Trevose, PA) announces the Portable Videoscope System that combines video technology, cordless operation, compact portability, and rugged durability. The system is well-suited for inspection of turbines, airframes, process tanks and vessels, tubing, heat exchanges, hydraulic cylinders, and more.

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Fans In Small Spaces

June 29, 2010 7:33 am | Product Releases | Comments

The AMI Motorized Axial Fans from Continental Fan (Buffalo, NY) are suited to applications where space is limited due to the coupling of the motor and impeller, which also provides for vibration-free operation. The AMI fans are speed controllable, and both the motor and impeller are located directly in the air stream, where the impeller acts as a rotating “heat sink.

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See The Smallest Defects

June 29, 2010 7:32 am | Product Releases | Comments

The In-Sight 5605 from Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA) is a high-resolution self-contained vision system that can see very small defects, even in a large field of view. The In-Sight 5605 offers a full 5 megapixel resolution, support for Gigabit Ethernet communications, and an IP67 rating to withstand dust and washdown environments.

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A Different Kind Of Doctor

June 29, 2010 7:31 am | Product Releases | Comments

Kadant Solutions (Auburn, MA) has extended its doctoring product line to include drum flaking applications with its new ProFlake doctor blade line. The blade uses a bi-metal technology for longer blade life, reduced operating costs, and improved flaker performance. In addition, they’re available in a variety of widths, thicknesses, and bevel configurations.

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Invoice Processing Goes Hi-Tech

June 29, 2010 5:38 am | Articles | Comments

The Situation Perishable Distributors of Iowa, Ltd. (PDI) is a wholly owned subsidiary of HyVee, Inc., Iowa’s largest employer. PDI is one of the nation’s largest food distribution companies, supplying more than 5,000 perishable food products including fresh chicken, beef, and pork; seafood; boxed frozen foods; bakery, dairy and deli products to grocery customers in eight Midwest states.

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Look To Aerospace For The Materials Of Tomorrow

June 29, 2010 5:38 am | by Michael R. Favaloro, Ticona Technical Marketing Manager, Fortron PPS Composites, Americas | Articles | Comments

Aerospace is a great industry to monitor for trends: What developments today might we be able to translate into innovations in other industries tomorrow, especially those involving materials? One material trend that is revolutionizing the aerospace industry in terms of reducing vehicle weight and achieving fuel savings is especially interesting.

U.S. Officials: Oil Spill Proves We Need 'Green' Energy

June 29, 2010 5:06 am | by Adam Schreck, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A senior American energy official said Tuesday the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico dramatically illustrates the need for investment into renewable sources of energy. David Sandalow, an assistant energy secretary, spoke during a visit to the capital of the United Arab Emirates, an OPEC member that is pumping some of its vast oil wealth into green technology.

ConAgra Consumes American Pie

June 29, 2010 4:52 am | News | Comments

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — ConAgra Foods Inc. said Tuesday it completed its acquisition of American Pie LLC, a maker of desserts and frozen dinners under the Marie Callender's and Claim Jumper brand names. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. American Pie makes pies, fruit cobblers and pie crusts under license from Marie Callender's and Claim Jumper.

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CarMax CEO: Auto Recovery Won't Be Full-Throttle

June 29, 2010 4:40 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — CarMax Inc. CEO Tom Folliard is expecting the recovery of the worst U.S. auto sales market in decades is going to be slower than some others foresee. The head of the Richmond-based used car dealership chain told shareholders at its annual meeting in Richmond that customers are starting to return and sales are improving, but not at pre-recession levels.

Tesla's IPO Opens At $17, Now Known As 'TSLA'

June 29, 2010 4:37 am | by Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Tesla Motors Inc. said Monday its shares were priced at $17 each, above what it expected. The electric car startup plans to launch its initial public offering of stock on Tuesday. The Palo Alto, Calif., company is offering 13.3 million shares, meaning it raised $226.1 million at the $17-a-share price.

Foxconn Plans 300,000-Worker Plant Amid Criticism

June 29, 2010 4:35 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Foxconn Technology, a supplier to Apple Inc., looks ready to build a huge new factory in north-central China despite the company's own misgivings about city-sized manufacturing facilities after a spate of suicides among its young migrant work force. The company plans to recruit some 300,000 workers for the new plant, to be located in the Henan city of Hebei, according to a notice seen Tuesday on a local government website.

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FAA Lackadaisical On Boeing Cockpit Fires

June 29, 2010 4:34 am | by Joan Lowy and Joshua Freed, Associated Press Writers | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. federal aviation officials have known for years that cockpit window heaters in some Boeing planes catch fire. But they haven't required airlines to fix the problem, even after dozens of incidents that unnerved pilots and, in some cases, forced emergency landings. Pilots have complained about heaters that burned, smoldered or sent electric currents dancing across cockpit windows since at least 2002, according to an Associated Press search of a NASA aviation safety database.

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